Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - JK Rowling

Review for…

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1) by JK Rowling

"Turning the envelope over, his hand trembling, Harry saw a purple wax seal bearing a coat of arms; a lion, an eagle, a badger and a snake surrounding a large letter 'H'."

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry's eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
You’ve heard of this story, read the book or seen the movie. If you haven’t, it’s a short but catching tale of the bullied becoming beloved, the orphan discovering his truth, and magic creating solutions as well as even more problems.

With fresh eyes and a lot of bias, I decided to reread this series after more than ten years. I wanted to focus on the craft of it, paying close attention to golden moments as well as mistakes. While I did see more contrivance this time around, I also tried to find the motivations of the adults in Harry’s life. Also, so exciting to reread now that I know the entirety of Tom Riddle’s arc.

Why do Snape and Dumbledore do what they do? What is Lupin doing during Harry’s first year? Why don’t Hermione’s parents send letters every week? Can I have a whole book of Charlie working with dragons in Romania, please?

It’s been said that the story is convenient, that this is a sophomore effort, and as much as the characters and setting dazzle, the authors own prejudices shine through again and again.

Reading Harry Potter is comforting. It’s familiar and the setting feels homey either because I share enough experiences with the author because I’ve read it so often now. There are powerful nuggets to be gleaned from the story, especially if you listen to The Sacred Text podcast. The moments that touch us are moving for a reason. Connecting with Harry when he feels close to that snake in the zoo, where the snake escapes and has purpose, a drive to go somewhere and the knowledge of how long it will take to get there is to have a new level of control over your life. Even if you are waylaid, having a direction, and having a place to go, as Harry does at Hogwarts, as the snake does to Brazil, was a breathtaking reading experience.

Also: I think I'm owed a copy of PS by now, because really throughout this my eyes kept catching on words that I knew 100% were American.

Pages: 320
Year: June 26th 1997
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Press

Read: 8 Oct 2017 - 23 Oct 2017
Stars: 4.5 (adored it)